Indian SUV segment is starved of automatic vehicles. The Mahindra XUV500 AT is only the second in its segment after the Hyundai Creta, and even that isn’t a fair comparison since one is a five-seater compact SUV, while the other is a full-sized seven-seater. Also the price difference between the two is almost enough to fetch you another small car. Yet, for the sake of putting things into perspective, here is a spec comparison of the two.
The Creta attempts to look like a proper SUV, using flared wheel arches and the design theme of its elder sibling, the Santa Fe. It is still a relatively compact vehicle, when compared to the likes of the XUV and Safari Storme. However, the Creta looks premium with the chrome pack.
The XUV500 became an instant hit among the bling loving Indian audience. The SUV is huge and Mahindra has made no attempts to hide its bulk. Now with the facelift, the car looks even more intimidating with the Led DRLs and the new chrome pack.
Hyundai’s products are known for their top-notch quality and the Creta is no different. Everything from the dashboard to door trims and upholstery feels classy and certainly deserves the premium it demands over the competition. The cabin is just about good enough to seat five passengers; however, the boot seems a little small for the vehicle of its size.
Mahindra XUV500 is a proper seven-seater, though only children will be comfortable at the back on long journeys. The third row can also double up as an extra-large boot, taking everything that a family will need for a trip. The quality of the interior, although, is a little patchy. Certain components feel great, while few others could have been much better considering the price point.
Both the Creta and XUV500 come with loads of features. There is an engine start-stop button, rear camera with parking sensors, automatic cabin mirror, climate control and a good music system with Bluetooth telephony. In terms of safety, both cars have ABS-EBD and front airbags.
The Hyundai Creta automatic is powered by the 1.6-litre engine from the Elantra developing 126bhp and 265Nm of torque. It is mated to the six-speed automatic transmission that powers the front wheel. It is a relatively old gearbox and tends to get noisy when you go hard on the throttle.
Mahindra has sourced a new six-speed transmission from Aisin AW in Japan for the premium SsangYong and Mahindra vehicles. The XUV500 is the first Mahindra car to use this unit and it will be soon seen on the Scorpio as well. The gearbox is coupled with the 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel engine producing 140bhp and 330Nm of torque. The Indian carmaker is offering this transmission both with 2WD and AWD variants of the SUV. There is a manual mode with creep function on the SUV and the overall performance seems adequate. The throttle response is instant and the NVH levels are pretty decent as well. Issues with this unit include lack of Sports mode and slow response in manual mode.
In terms of power, the XUV500 is way ahead of the Creta with a bigger engine, even the technology seems to be relatively better. Still,the XUV also has to lug much more weight and that nullifies the advantage to some extent.
The Creta AT is available only in one variant – top-end SX Plus priced at Rs 13.80 lakh (ex-Delhi). The compact SUV is about Rs 1.73 lakh cheaper than the W8 2WD version of the XUV500. For the extra money, the XUV has a bigger engine and larger cabin with one extra row of seats.
Mahindra offers the AT in two more trims – W10 2WD priced at Rs 16.36 lakh and W10 AWD priced at Rs 17.36 lakh.